March 30, 2008

Sense deconstructs stereotypes

Exhibit of Native art debuts in Brooklyn

Twenty-five indigenous artists present contemporary paintings, drawings and sculpturesSarah Sense, Chitimacha/Choctaw, takes pop culture representations of what it means to be Indian and female and transforms them via manipulated photographs, two of which were included in the show. To make her pieces, she first slices into thin strips oversize digital photographs of iconic figures such as an Indian princess, a gun-toting cowgirl, Marilyn Monroe and Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. She then interlaces the narrow bands with transparent and mirrored mylar ribbons to produce woven rectangles that are approximately two feet by four feet. Her weaving patterns are traditional Chitimacha basketmaking designs, but the result resembles a digitized photograph--uniting old and new and literally reformulating the cliches.

"I'm taking on the stereotypes and putting them out there as ridiculous," Sense said. "This lets me figure out who I am and what all this means for my generation."

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